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AURA secures R62m Series A funding from MCG and others

Staff writer
Nov. 24, 2021, 2:21 p.m.

Word count: 508

MultiChoice Group (MCG), KLT Holdings and Buffet Investments have led a R62m Series A funding round into AURA, an South African security and medical response marketplace.

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MultiChoice Group (MCG), KLT Holdings and Buffet Investments have led a R62m Series A funding round into AURA, an South African security and medical response marketplace.

“To accelerate the evolution of our ecosystem by offering additional value-added services to our customers, we are investing in scalable and innovative technology platforms like AURA. Not only does it strengthen our service offering and enhance long-term value creation for shareholders, but it also drives economic development and job creation,” said Calvo Mawela, Group CEO of MultiChoice.

AURA enables anyone to access the closest vetted private and public security and medical response unit to their location - anywhere, anytime - using a connected device.   

Established in 2016, AURA is already the leading marketplace of its kind in South Africa, with over 400,000 active users on its network.

The company expanded to East Africa and the UK earlier this year and the new funding deal will see it outpace its already-impressive growth trajectory.

AURA co-founder Ryan Green said: “We are gearing some of the funding towards hiring top talent to head up each new region while growing teams in established regions – especially our tech team. The result is stronger relationships and value propositions for suppliers at all levels in the marketplace.”

Covid-19 has exposed the need for a marketplace like AURA, as general levels of anxiety have increased.  

Adam Pantanowitz, a co-founder, said there are an estimated 7,000 private security response vehicles in South Africa that only service 2% of the population. On top of that, these vehicles are only in service 5% of the time. “AURA allows the seamless connection of people in distress, whether it’s safety or medical distress, with our network of responders,” he said.

“We aggregate emergency response companies and through our technology solution, we’re able to dispatch responders to any distress signal, anywhere in the country. This signal can come from a smartphone, a Bluetooth device or any internet-connected device.”

The marketplace uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to hone its system and ensure that the closest responders are dispatched to a distress call.

This means that AURA response times are reduced because security companies are aggregated and dispatched from one trusted source with a birds-eye view of the situation. Response times drop from an average of 30 minutes to as low as one to five minutes.”

According to Green, the new funding deal presents an incredible opportunity for AURA to enter new markets with a thorough plan for success.

“It will ensure that we create marketplace fluidity as quickly as possible rather than bootstrapping activities that slow down the required traction. This next year will be focused on that growth - ramping up operations as seamlessly and efficiently as possible,” he said.

 “Our hope is to become the centre repository for risk data – not only responding to emergencies but to proactively predict and deal with any type of violent crime, whether on a one-on-one scale or the size of a riot. The data is already available to do so, it’s just not centralised. Yet,” he added.

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